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October 21st, 2004

U2 Tribute to Christopher Nolan 'Miriacle Drug' @ 12:41 pm

U2's new album HOW TO DISMANTLE AN ATOMIC BOMB features a tribute to a childhood friend of the band who fought disability to become a genius.

New track MIRACLE DRUG honours the boy CHRISTOPHER NOLAN's mother, who refused to believe that teaching her paraplegic son was a waste of time.

Singer BONO explains, "He had been deprived of oxygen for two hours when he was born, so he was paraplegic. But his mother believed he could understand what was going on and used to teach him at home.

"Eventually, they discovered a drug that allowed him to move one muscle in his neck. So they attached this unicorn device to his forehead and he learned to type. And out of him came all these poems that he'd been storing up in his head.

"He went off to university and became a genius - all because of a mother's love and a medical breakthrough."

The new album features another emotive track, SOMETIMES YOU CAN'T MAKE IT YOUR OWN, which Bono wrote to perform at his father's funeral last year.
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Date:October 21st, 2004 01:00 pm (UTC)
that is *so* cool. Actually Chris Nolan isn't a paraplegic, he has cerebral palsy. His book Under the Eye of the Clock was one my mother pointed out to me at a very early age as an example of one of the very few people with CP in this world who have been given the tools required to allow their talents shine, and what one can achieve if one only has the support.

I'm unsure where the persistant equating of CP and paralysis comes from. Chris Nolan cannot move independently, but CP is *not* paralysis - it is malfunctioning of the muscles due to brain damage, and in Chris' case (and my own) it means the muscles are *too tense* to allow proper movement - as though you clenched every muscle in your body as tight as you could and then tried to move. (I'm not lecturing - just posting this here as an FYI for anyone who is curious. Thanks VERY MUCH for posting it.)

I've always loved Bono, but the fact that he wrote a song for Chris has just increased my admiration for him a million-fold.

Now if he would just clarify that whole paraplegic thing. ;)
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Date:October 21st, 2004 01:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the lovely comment. I was really impressed by his actions, too -- I'm reminded of a fellow student in San Francisco who had CP but, as you said, had all the resources to be fully engaged in his studies without hindrance. I admired him greatly.

I think you should write Bono a letter, or pass something to him at the concerts next year .. I'm sure he would be incredibly grateful for the clarification, given what a warm heart he has.

I also thought the phrase "he went off to university and became a genius" was kinda funny - as if one isn't truly a genius until they share their ideas with the world and get noticed for them ...
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Date:October 21st, 2004 01:22 pm (UTC)
I think we've come a long way in terms of disability access - certainly a long way from what Chris had to deal with. We also have a long way to go... my sister and I both have CP (very very rare, since it's not a genetic condition), and while my mom was a veritable mother bear in public school (I graduated at age 16), she reached her limit shortly thereafter while we were trying to navigate the unfamiliar collegiate system, and I ended up having to withdaw after a semester. I still live at home, 5 1/2 years later, due to an appalling lack of resources and because at this point we're all just tired of fighting.... a lousy excuse when I consider what Chris and his generation went through but the truth nonetheless. I admire anyone who manages to struggle against a system so determined to relegate us to second-class status and comes out victorious.

I'm considering it, actually. It's worth a shot... I'm sure, provided I could actually get it to *him* (or any of the band), clarification would be swift and loud. :) Neil Young has a son with CP, but is decidedly silent about it... his right of course, but I do wish those of us with CP had a little celebrity clout on our side - unfortunately in our society, it's celebrities that draw most of the world's rapt attention.

I found that an interesting turn of phrase as well... I can only surmise that he meant "was discovered to be" a genius, as opposed to what actually came out!

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